I really appreciate the feedback and sharing of my last article on being told “Don’t put on too much muscle”.
I love how these posts get people talking about what is really happening in our community.
I wanted to continue this conversation so we could dive a little deeper and clarify that it isn’t just men that have issues with women’s muscle.
We black women have internalized a lot of these same issues that stop us from working on our health through exercise.
I have a friend that decided to try body-building. She did an amazing job sculpting her body and even placed at her first competition ever.
Another female friend commented on how our body building friend, looked gross with all that muscle and how “even her face looked manly”. I didn’t even know what to say in that moment, because I took it personally.
It made me wonder what do you say about me and my muscles? Because to me, when I look at my body building friend, all I see is hard work , mental strength and dedication.
I love working out with her, because she’s one of a few friends that I can workout with and not feel like I’m in trainer mode. I love training, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes, I just want someone else to take charge for a change.
I have a whole lot of respect for bodybuilders even though I don’t see it in my future to be one. It’s a completely different type of training than I do for myself. And I feel it would be too mentally taxing for me emotionally.
My personal goals are to increase my strength, because the stronger I am the safer I feel and the less back and hip pain I have.
Another goal of mine is to stay lean so that I feel comfortable in my body as well as healthy.
What does FIT look like?
A lot of us link big muscles or a certain look with strength and what it means to be fit.
I realized recently that the reason that I don’t post a lot of pictures of my body is because my body doesn’t fit into the “social media approved FIT” body type.
I’m tall and lean, but I have a thick waist. So when I did post pics, I only posted pics of myself from the side view.
I always described my body as similar to a teenage boy; Straight with no curves.
But recently I posted a straight on view. I’ll share it with you to show what I mean.
I posted this like you rip off a band-aid; quick before I could change my mind and then I went offline, right after I did it.
As much as I didn’t do it for approval, the amount of likes or lack of likes did have an effect on me. I stared at the pic. And I tried to see through what I’ve been trained to see. I know better, and yet it’s still difficult not to judge my body.
It’s almost like you have to totally isolate yourself from TV and social media to just accept your body. But my goal is continue to grow mentally so that those images of small waisted women don’t affect how I see and love myself.
We are all works in progress. Most of us are trying to do better. I’m willing to admit my flaws if it will help someone else in the process.